(610 Sports) - A move that Royals fans have been anticipating all season, is now official. Royals right fielder Alex Gordon is retiring from the game of baseball. A fan favorite and sure fire Royals Hall of Famer, Gordon will always be remembered as the first building block of what would eventually become a back-to-back American League Championship team, culminating with a World Series Championship in 2015.
Gordon, the second overall pick in Major League Baseball's 2005 First-year Player Draft, had a standout college career at the University of Nebraska where he swept the collegiate baseball awards for college player of the year, winning the Dick Howser Trophy, Golden Spikes Award, Brooks Wallace Award and American Baseball Coaches Association Rawlings Player of the Year Award, in his junior year.
Gordon's minor league career was short lived, as he quickly climbed the ranks and made his Major League debut in 2007 as the starting third baseman for the Royals, a position he would hold down until his move to left field in 2010. The move to the outfield would be one that defined Gordon's career, as he would evolve into a Gold Glove defender, winning his first of seven Rawlings Gold Glove Awards in 2011, his first season as the club's full-time left fielder. Gordon is also a three-time Wilson Defensive Player of the Year, earning the honor in 2014 and from 2017-18. In 2014, he was named the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award winner, which honors the best overall defensive player in each league. He was the first outfielder to earn the award, which was established in 2011.
As well known as Alex would become for his defensive prowess, Gordon will also be remembered for many moments at the plate, including one of the most iconic home runs in franchise history, a game-tying home run off Mets’ closer Jeurys Familia in the ninth inning of Game 1 in the 2015 World Series, which forced the game into extras and eventually led to a Royals win in 14 innings. Gordon also drove in the go-ahead run in Game 4 of the ALDS in Houston that year, as the Royals rallied from a four-run deficit in the eighth inning to extend the series to a fifth game that the Royals won to advance to the ALCS.
Gordon is sixth in Royals franchise history in games played (1,748), hits (1,641), runs scored (866), RBIs (749) and at-bats (6,377). He also ranks fourth in club history in home runs (190) and fifth in doubles (357). Gordon’s 10 postseason doubles rank second in Royals history and 17 postseason RBI rank fourth.
A natural leader that teammates look up to, Alex is a poster child of perseverance and professionalism. Struggling through injuries, making a position change for the team and never wavering in his commitment to the organization that drafted him, even through multiple 100 loss seasons. Alex deserved better than a final season without fans in the stands but he is also the kind of a guy that wouldn't want anyone to make a fuss about him stepping away from the game.
A Royals legend, farewell #4.